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Run Industry Gathers In Denver for Runchella

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More than 100 running store owners and employees and 70 brand execs gathered this week in Denver for Runchella, an in-person event hosted by the Running Industry Association (RIA). The three-day event, dubbed a “Social Symposium,” was designed as a way for the running industry to get together, listen, learn, and look ahead.

“The spirit of Runchella is all about the industry getting together after 18 months apart — to reconnect, learn a little bit and enjoy each other in a social setting. That spirit is alive and well,” Terry Schalow, RIA executive director, told us, as we connected with Runchella attendees via Zoom yesterday. “Three weeks ago we didn’t know if we could pull this off with COVID restrictions changing, et cetera. But from the opening session here, the energy level was so high. People are so happy to see each other and the spirit of this group is fantastic.”

Programming and discussions at the event were highlighted by key topics of conversation such as dealing with supply chain issues; collaborating with peers; and looking at the future of running retail.

RIA board president Kathy Dalby, CEO of Pacers Running, told us, “The big topics for RIA retailers are of course things like supply chain, labor issues, omnichannel — all of those things. And COVID is a backdrop to everything we are operating under.”

Dalby noted, “We do so much sharing of information as peers — being a forum for people to engage and share has been great.”

Dan Schade, On’s national sales director, USA, told us that having brands and retailers together sharing ideas at Runchella has been invaluable. “You can really feel the difference when everyone is in the same room,” he said. “There is a lot happening in the marketplace and in this channel and we all need to work together. Whether it is getting through some supply chain issues and demand fluctuations or focusing on the growth of the sport, it takes a lot of collaboration.”

Look for expanded coverage from our Runchella conversations, along with more in-depth coverage of the running industry in future issues of Footwear Insight Extra, as well as the upcoming November issue of our sister publication sportstyle magazine.

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Sep 29, 2021

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